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pump washing tips for a bit of a slacker - Page 2

post #21 of 26

I bought my own mini fridge (less than $100 and extra sets of horns so I could be lazy). Best money spent ever.


These easily fits horns etc. Take apart all pieces, wash seals and put somewhere safe, and throw everything else in the dishwasher. Easy peasy. If you like to be extra cautious or LO has special needs you could sterilize but I've never read that it is necessary.


Don't worry about storage during the day.


We washed everything (medela bottle nipples, plastic medela bottles (hate the new shape, harder to get clean), glass medela bottles in the dishwasher.

post #22 of 26
Soap and water does a good job of getting germs off of the pump parts. I would only worry if you don't have a clean water source, or if you are pumping for a preemie that is still at high risk of infection. We would wash them on a regular cycle without the "sanitize" option, since parts that fell sometimes melted in the dishwasher we had. I just washed the little white valves by hand since that part is easy.
post #23 of 26

I have been pumping since my girl was 2 months old, she is 21 months old and I am still pumping.  I used to wash the pump parts daily and kept them in the fridge when not pumping.  Gradually the time between washings extended to 2 days, 3 days, etc.  I usually wash the pump parts 1x a week, but have gone many times washing them 1x every 2 weeks.  Keep in mind though that I keep my fridge very cold, almost freezing.  I bought a fridge thermometer to be sure it wasn't borderline dangerous. Buy one at the hardware store for a couple of bucks.  Well worth it to be sure.  Also a freezer thermometer for freezing milk (that is another topic though).  I used to sterilize every time I washed (when baby was younger), but now I only sterilize one a month or so, or if the pump parts touched something questionable (believe it or not, I am bit of a germaphobe).  I still hand wash my pump parts with bottle brushes that can get into the crevices of the parts, otherwise, if not scrubbing the parts thoroughly, the milk "film" does not come off.  If you rub your fingers and you can still feel it kind of "greasy", the parts are not clean.   I used to sterilize the parts every time I washed when baby was younger but gradually got away from it.  I usually pump anywhere from 1x to 6x a day.  In any case, storing the pump parts in the fridge lessened the need to wash so often and it saved me!!!  Imagine washing 1x a week, much easier!!! 


The logic behind this weekly washing is that milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 days, so the pump parts should be fine too.  I haven't had any problems with the milk.  My baby has been drinking refrigerated and frozen milk since she was 4 months old.

Edited by msveggie - 10/4/11 at 10:32pm
post #24 of 26

I started out obsessive about thorough cleaning/sterilizing (had a thirteen week preemie) and absolutely hated/dreaded pumping for all the hassles of washing/drying parts in public sinks (even the NICU pump room had no space to put parts down, etc.).  I bought the Medela wipes but never used them as I feared whatever chemicals they had and it didn't make sense to clean everything but the inner unreachable parts anyway. As my baby grew older and healthier I graduated to keeping unwashed parts in the refrigerator between pumpings and then ultimately to just keeping them out at room temperature (except in our unairconditioned summer) as breastmilk is safe unrefrigerated for 8-12 hours.  Certainly wish I'd figured that all out at the start, as my pumping regime (and thus my supply) suffered from the earlier time/hassle factor!!  I often left my parts soaking when handwashing and did use the dishwasher too.  I found these mesh dishwasher baskets easier than any others and more convenient for including the little white valves: http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Expandable-Dishwasher-Basket/dp/B000UFWQW0 (currently out of stock at amazon but maybe you could find them somewhere else).  Like others I worried about plastics leaching, too, as I hate any sort of plastic exposure but relaxing cleaning routines and worries about all this stuff definitely makes it more tolerable to keep going!

post #25 of 26
post #26 of 26

Oh, and I also refrigerated parts in between and washed once a day. I think 1-2 I went two days but I wouldn't recommend. Bacteria can still grow in refrigeration and your body can (hands, breasts) can harbor introduce other bacteria. You and I don't pump under "lab conditions."

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